Wildcard Week: Titans Tuesday Report
Jeff Fisher (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
TitansInsider.com
Posted Jan 2, 2008


Titans Head Coach Jeff Fisher talks about this weeks game against the Chargers

(Injury update)

Fisher: “I’ll have a complete injury report Wednesday. We’re doing some tests on a few guys, but everybody was in getting their treatment. It’s not as bad as it looked. We’ll have more specifics hopefully on Wednesday.”

(on QB Vince Young’s health)

Fisher: “He was very excited about his play in the game and the win and his opportunity to play in a playoff game.”

(on Young’s quadriceps injury)

Fisher: “Again, he was excited about the game and we’ll see how he is. We haven’t ruled him out. It will be a day-to-day thing.”

(on the specifics of when Young injured his quad)

Fisher: “Does that make a difference? (laughs) That’s what he said? I didn’t hear him say that. He could have come back in the game, as I said afterwards.”

(on if he is optimistic about Young’s health)

Fisher: “Yes.”

(on if Young is one of the players getting medical tests)

Fisher: “No.”

(on how much his quad has bothered him this season)

Fisher: “It really has not been a factor the last few weeks. He got over it. I think it was a subconscious concern the week after the Houston game. Beyond that, it has not been an issue for him on the practice field or at any other time. He ran around pretty good last night.”

(on if he thinks Young will have problems with the quad this week)

Fisher: “I don’t anticipate that, no.”

(on the significance of having backup QB Kerry Collins, and his ability to execute the offense well)

Fisher: “Kerry has shown that, specifically in our first game against Houston with what he was able to do in that ballgame. It’s nice to know that Kerry can come in, warm up a little bit, take a snap and then come in and make plays. Kerry has done a great job all year preparing himself to play, knowing that he is, as we all understand, a play away from playing. That’s the hard thing to do as a backup, but he has done that. He can draw on his experience as a backup, and he has a wealth of experience. He sees well. He comes in and makes plays. As we move through the week, again, it will be a day-to-day thing. I can’t really say right now whether Vince is going to play this week. I have a good feel that he will be back on the practice field. We’ll just see how it goes.”

(on if Young must practice in order to play this week)

Fisher: “I’m not going to rule it out. I don’t want to get into hypotheticals, so we’ll just take it one day at a time. He would benefit from practicing, but he has also played [San Diego] several weeks ago.”

(on if he will consider starting Collins regardless of Young’s health)

Fisher: “No. We’re going to evaluate Vince’s situation during the week.”

(on if they will be short-handed at the running back position this week due to injuries)

Fisher: “We’ve got Quinton Ganther, who has done a really good job filling in for practice. He has been up and back and forth on the active roster and practice squad. We’ll be fine there.”

(on if RB Chris Henry got more carries due to RB Chris Brown’s injury)

Fisher: “Chris (Brown) left the gam; his back tightened up and we were just alternating them. LenDale (White) was a little sore, so we brought Chris (Henry) in, and we had some things in the game for Chris. We just wanted to give him an opportunity.”

(on the big hit put on Henry on a kickoff return by Darrell Reid)

Fisher: “I haven’t seen the return on our coaches’ tape because I saw it about a dozen times in thirty seconds there on the Jumbotron. It was quite a hit, and that’s football. It was a great hit, and Chris is a tough guy. He jumped right up and didn’t bat an eye.”

(on if it should have been a penalty as a helmet-to-helmet hit)

Fisher: “No. A running back doesn’t get helmet-to-helmet protection. A quarterback gets helmet-to-helmet protection, and a receiver will get helmet-to-helmet protection in a vulnerable position, but a ball-carrier doesn’t.”

(on the significance of making the playoffs)

Fisher: “I think a lot of people are to be credited to that, starting with (owner) Mr. (Bud) Adams and his understanding of what we had to do. (Former general manager) Floyd (Reese), with the plan that we had in place knowing that in 2005 we were going to have to pretty much start over and draft, and that it may take some time. The plan was that in this day and age, it doesn’t take that long. We knocked on the door last year, and we made it (this year). A lot of people are to be complimented for that, particularly the players. A lot of the veterans have endured tough times, Keith (Bulluck) and Craig (Hentrich) and Benji (Olson), and those guys. And the younger guys who came in, that experience is the only thing they knew for a couple of years. Now they understand, so it’s nice to be back.”

(on having patience and faith, and how gratifying it is to have made the playoffs)

Fisher: “Going into this year, we looked at the Indy game as a game that may have playoff implications. But I also felt like we would have continued on after that midway point at 6-2 and built some more wins and would have been able to lock something up before then. It is what it is. The best thing that we did was we overcame the three consecutive losses. We hung in there. We played well. We’ve won four out of our last five ballgames now, and we got it. That is something that we can build on now. The key here is not to all of a sudden take a deep breath, throw your arms up in the air and say, ‘we made it.’ We expect to make it every year. We made it, now we need to do something about it.”

(on facing the San Diego Chargers for the second time in four weeks)

Fisher: “We have some familiarity, that’s the most important thing. We played the Chargers last year and did not play well. We closed the gap with them in this last ballgame. Now they could probably make the case that they did not play well here a few weeks ago, but we went toe-to-toe with them, and they’re an elite team. So we have familiarity. There is recall as far as the game plan, the players, the personnel and those sorts of things. It will be a great ballgame.”

(on his satisfaction with this year’s first round pick, safety Michael Griffin)

Fisher: “There was no risk at all in drafting Michael. We knew that. The question was, do we want to plug him in over here or do we want him over there? I think his experience at the cornerback position through camp and through the season has helped him with a complete understanding of what we’re trying to do. He played a very, very solid game yesterday with a caused fumble and pass-breakups and tackling. He is getting better each week.”

(on the opening drive)

Fisher: “As far as the game yesterday was concerned, our opening drive was impressive. That was an impressive thing to watch. I’m going to go back again and watch it on tape. That was something that you need to do. We needed to do that, and we said all week that we needed to do that. We needed to keep the ball on the ground, throw it here and there, and get points. We did. We also felt, however long [Peyton Manning] was going to play, if we can hold them to field goals or get off the field, that we would have a chance. That was a huge play in the ball game. Chris Brown’s run for a touchdown, then Griff’s play, and then even Travis (LaBoy) getting a piece of Peyton’s arm on the third down play to make them kick a field goal, those were huge plays for us.”

(on the unsportsmanlike conduct penalty against Griffin)

Fisher: “Sometimes there are things that are called that you would rather see not called, and there are things that are not called that you would rather see called. It was nothing vicious. It was nothing late. The only thing late about the call was the flag.”

(on S Calvin Lowry’s play)

Fisher: “Calvin was active, tackling. That was a nice pass-breakup there at the end on the fourth-down throw. He was all over the place. This was his second time around against the Colts. He has a decent understanding of not only what they’re doing offensively but what we’re trying to do defensively.”

(on the quality of Vince Young’s play up until his injury)

Fisher: “He was really into it, just like we said. Each time he plays [the Colts], he gets a little bit better. He was accurate. (There were) a couple things, a couple decisions. But that happens to most quarterbacks that play them. He ran around; he handled the noise fine. I thought everything on the line of scrimmage, his huddle, everything was good about his play. His numbers were good.”

(on surviving two fumbles)

Fisher: “Well, you know, we didn’t survive one because we gave up points. At this point what you think about is you turned the ball over to them and you don’t want to give the ball back to their offense and give them points. When you fumble the ball and they get a first down on the nine-yard line, you’re taking points off the board. So turnovers are the key. They’ve been kind of indicative of how our games have gone. If you’re going to point to one area all year, it’s turnovers. With that said, we’re playing a team (San Diego) this week that is leading the NFL in takeaways. They’re No. 1. They thrive on it. That’s going to be what this game’s all about, protecting the football.” 

(on the play of the Titans receiving corps yesterday)

Fisher: “They all played well – Roydell (Williams’) catches, Justin (Gage)’s catches. Balls were out of frame. They were not inaccurate throws, but they were balls that went to places where only the receiver could get them, and they made the catches. It was good to see that. And they blocked well. Roydell was aggressive and we had to use the receivers in the run-front because of their safeties.” 

(on if he was aware that if Colts backup Jim Sorgi got hurt, starter Peyton Manning would return)

Fisher: “Yes. I had several conversations with the defensive staff about that. You want to rush the passer and you want to put pressure on him, but if you hit him and get to him, you need to help him off the ground really quick.”

(on if he knew that Colts head coach Tony Dungy would not utilize the team’s last timeout)

Fisher: “I knew that he was not going to use it, yes. Let me just say, I knew he wasn’t going to use it. Tony and I were on the competition committee for a long time.”

(on why he estimates Dungy did not use the timeout)

Fisher: “Probably because he would have gotten the ball back with about 25 seconds and we would have kicked the field goal and he would have been down by nine (points). It didn’t make any sense. They gave it their best shot. You get three more plays or such – at lease one more play – and you’ve got an injury risk, or what have you. I don’t know. It’s hard for me to explain why he didn’t do it. That was his choice. That also goes with why he played who he played and for how long. That was Tony’s prerogative. They’re the World Champs and we were just happy to be able to kneel it.”

(on if he would refrain from using his last time out if the exact same situation were reversed)

Fisher: “If the roles were completely reversed? I don’t deal with hypotheticals. (laughs)”

(on whether K Rob Bironas earned his trust on the 54-yard field goal, considering a missed kick would have given the Colts good field position)

Fisher: “I felt pretty good about the way our defense was playing. We were trying to win the ballgame.”

(on the draft order and if there needs to be a better tiebreaker than a coin flip)

Fisher: “That’s the way we’ve done it. It might be something that’s revisited, but that’s just the way it’s been done. We had a coin flip with Baltimore years ago, where Ozzie (Newsome) and I basically stood there and flipped a coin to find our draft order. That’s the way it’s been done.”

(on if a rule-change in regards to the coin flip would be a competition committee decision)

Fisher: “It would generate at the competition committee level, yes.”

(on rise in competition level from regular season to playoffs is similar to that of preseason to regular season)

Fisher: “It’s the same change. We talked about it this morning in the meeting. It’s the same thing. …So what do you do? You do what you ordinarily do. You come to work, look forward to coming to work, you practice, you realize you’re one of 12 teams now. Everybody else is going through checking-out physicals. You focus and you try to get better. You deal with the strengths and weaknesses of your opponent and you go out and play ball.”

(on whether DT Albert Haynesworth had an injury setback in the game)

Fisher: “No setback. He came back (into the game).”

(on his reaction to Baltimore Ravens head coach Brian Billick’s departure from Baltimore)

Fisher: “The unfortunate part about our business is that there’s going to be change. You’re expected to win. I can’t comment any further. Brian’s done a good job there. He’s got a World Championship trophy there. We’ll just see what they do.”

(on the struggles of travelling to the west coast)

Fisher: “We’ve changed our schedule back and fourth with west coach trips. I think we’ve got a workable schedule, a convenient schedule that we’re using. I think the difficulty of the games and such is that we’ve played pretty good teams recently. But I like the way we travel when we go to the west coast.”

(on when the team plans to leave for San Diego)

Fisher: “I told the players this morning that our plan is to depart Nashville Saturday morning, mid-morning. We’ll get in there and have lunch and a walkthrough.”

(on why the Chargers have been so successful at the end of this regular season)

Fisher: “Their defense is playing very, very well. They’re healthy. They’re getting turnovers. Their offense has a running back (LaDainian Tomlinson) that’s pretty good. They’ve got pretty good receivers and an All-Pro tight end (Antonio Gates), and a quarterback that knows what to do with the football, and a well-coached offensive line. They’re a well-coached team. They’re one of the better special-teams units in the league. They’re very good.”



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